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Undergraduate student works overtime toward a bright future

Ryan Siegle feeds a horse. He is wearing a T-shirt from the Boeing Co., which is the place he interned during Summer 2014 and who organized the volunteer opportunity.

Even while interning for the Boeing Co. last summer, senior Ryan Siegle found opportunities through the company to volunteer. He currently is working a co-op with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and learning robotics engineering during weekends with General Motors.

Ryan Siegle’s hectic schedule would be enough to make most students’ heads spin.

“This semester’s been crazy,” said Siegle, a senior mechanical engineering student with experience in robotics. Siegle is doing co-op work 40 hours a week as a systems engineer at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he tests and analyzes avionic systems.

He’s no slacker during the weekends either, when he makes the long drive down to Kansas City to put in 20 hours at General Motors doing robotics engineering. After that, it’s another drive back to Iowa as the cycle repeats itself. On top of all that, Siegle is also enrolled in an online engineering economy analysis class. As a result, he doesn’t usually find himself with much free time. “I finally had my first weekend off after about a month and a half last weekend,” said Siegle. “It was pretty nice.”

Some of his past work experience includes interning for Boeing in Summer 2014 doing automation equipment support, which included conducting machine analysis and diagnostics.

He was the vice president of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society, last year and is a member of Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honors society, and has spent the past six semesters doing tutoring for the Freshman Learning Center (FLC) as well as Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). Siegle’s hard work and dedication has not gone unrecognized; in Spring 2014 he was awarded the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department’s Outstanding Junior Award.

According to Siegle, the most challenging aspect of what he does is, unsurprisingly, time management, as well as the effort it takes to learn the systems that each specific job and industry operate under.

With all of the options he has, Siegle’s not sure exactly what he’s going to do next when he graduates in Spring 2015 — working for Boeing or doing mechanical engineering contracting are his main choices — but he thinks he’ll end up in robotics or mechanical engineering.

“I like knowing that I have a hand in engineering heavy systems and designs, knowing that I’m contributing to the massive technological advancements coming nowadays,” said Siegle. “I find satisfaction in that because its mind-blowing, some of the stuff that people are doing. Being around that, and being of help – it’s pretty cool.”